The TrueDepth camera system on Apple’s upcoming iPhone X is so advanced that it may take Android handset manufacturers a good 2.5 years before they’re able to catch up, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo also anticipates that Apple will ship anywhere from 30-35 million iPhone X models in 2017. Kuo also makes a point of noting that Apple has plenty of room for iPhone growth over the next few years.
As for the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera system, the complexity of the system’s components is reportedly behind what will likely be extremely limited supply when Apple’s flagship iPhone launches later this year. Specifically, it’s been reported that the module’s dot projector — the component responsible for illuminating a user’s face with 30,000 infrared dots to create a facial depth map — is more challenging to manufacture at scale than initially imagined.
While it stands to reason that Apple will eventually get a handle on supply, limited availability at launch likely means that many users will have to wait until 2018 before getting their hands on the iPhone X.
All that aside, if we assume that Kuo’s assessment of the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera system vis-a-vis Android is accurate, it remains unclear if this is really all that big of a deal. Remember, there’s no telling how consumers will take to Face ID as a replacement to Touch ID. Though Apple has boldly boasted that Face ID is just as quick as Touch ID and even more secure and reliable, consumer reaction to the new feature will really prove to be the most important factor. Additionally, it remains to be seen how consumers take to other features enabled by the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera system, such as Animoji.